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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

On the Wuhan Virus: Why Doesnt the NFL Believe Its Own Data?

This past Thursday, the NFL sent a memo warning all 32 of its teams that, “We do not anticipate adding a ‘19th week’ to accommodate games that cannot be rescheduled within the current 18 weeks of the regular season.” In other words, just like last year, the NFL intends on playing all of its games (this year, 17 games per team in an 18 week season). Other “highlights” from the memo:

  • Every club is obligated under the Constitution and Bylaws to have its team ready to play at the scheduled time and place. A failure to do so is deemed conduct detrimental. There is no right to postpone a game…

  • If a game is cancelled/postponed because a club cannot play due to a Covid spike among or resulting from its non-vaccinated players/staff, then the burden of the cancellation or delay will fall on the club experiencing the Covid infection…

  • If a game is rescheduled due to a Covid outbreak among unvaccinated players on one of the competing teams, the club experiencing the outbreak will be responsible for all additional expenses incurred by the opposing team and will also be required to pay any shortfall between actual and expected payment to the VTS pool.

  • If a game cannot be rescheduled within the current 18-week schedule and is cancelled due to a Covid outbreak among unvaccinated players on one of the competing teams, that club will forfeit the contest and will be responsible for the lost payment to the VTS pool.

  • If a game is cancelled and cannot be rescheduled within the current 18-week schedule due to a Covid outbreak, neither team's players will receive their weekly paragraph 5 salary.

Additionally, Breitbart reports,

According to another in a series of recent and aggressive new restrictions targeting unvaccinated players, the NFL announced on Saturday that if a player violates one of the league-mandated Covid protocols that applies to unvaccinated players, they will receive a $14,650 fine…

According to league rules, all Tier 1 personnel, including coaches, must receive the vaccine or provide religious and/or medical reasons for why they cannot.

Just what are those “league-mandated Covid protocols?” According to Yahoo! Sports,

[T]he protocols are different for vaccinated players than they are for unvaccinated players. And those differences aren't small. They're big, honking differences that will make life much more difficult for unvaccinated players.

The training camp and preseason protocols:

With all of this, not only is the NFL ignoring Wuhan Virus data the world over, but it is ignoring its own data from last season. As I noted in late January of this year, medical officials from the NFL and CDC found that in over 256 NFL games (not including playoff games), and for well over 1,000 practices (probably closer to 2,000) involving 32 teams and over 2,000 players, there was zero evidence of “on-field transmission.” 

Additionally, in well over 600,000 tests performed over several months in the 2020 season, only 329 NFL personnel (out of over 11,000) “tested positive.” As I also noted at the time,

It’s also important to note that in spite of these “positive” tests, almost zero serious illnesses from the Wuhan virus were reported.

In other words, though the NFL’s rampant testing yielded a few “positives,” virtually no one got sick. ABC News details each team’s “cases” as of early December here. Almost every player or coach who was reported to have missed a game had to do so because of a “positive test.” Thus, as we have seen throughout the past ten months, a “positive test” does not in any way indicate an actual Wuhan virus case. 

Only two NFL employees—Denver’s defensive coordinator Ed Donatell and Jacksonville running back Ryquell Armstead—reportedly had to be hospitalized due to Wuhan virus complications. Both have fully recovered.

Remember that all of this happened prior to the vaccine. So after thousands of hours involving hundreds of thousands of extremely close, maskless contacts in which bodily fluids were almost always present, the NFL and the CDC are telling us that there were zero person-to-person transmissions of the Wuhan Virus, and of those who did happen to test positive, virtually no one got sick.

In spite of all of this, and plenty of other evidence that suggests the vaccine is unnecessary for many of us—at its peak, the U.S. hospitalization rate for 18-29 year-olds (the age range for the vast majority of the NFL) was 1.13 per 100,000, and out of about 53 million 18-29 year-olds in the U.S., there have been 2,470 deaths “involving COVID-19” (that’s a 0.0047% rate)—and possibly dangerous for some, the NFL is mandating the Wuhan Virus vaccine for many employees, and for the personnel whom it is optional, is making life miserable for those who refuse it.

In other words, the NFL is fully bought into the Wuhan Virus fear-mongering, and wants to perpetuate that with an ignorant vaccine policy. Influential stars of the NFL who are against this should organize and speak out against it. Much of the world is watching (though fewer than would have been if the NFL hadn’t gone “woke”).

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2021, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the 
The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com  

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Don’t Fall for Alabama Doctor’s Wuhan Virus Fear Porn

In order to keep alive the false notion that “systemic racism” is rampant in the United States, leftists across America have peddled massive amounts of misleading information. (The hotly debated “Critical Race Theory” is filled with it.) Thus, it should come as little surprise that the COVID-loving mask cultists on the left would stoop to spinning false or misleading tales about Wuhan Virus doom and gloom in order to help keep as much of the nation as possible on edge.

Dr. Brytney Cobia of Alabama seems to be such a leftist. This past Sunday, Dr. Cobia posted the following on her Facebook page:

(NOTE: DO NOT "visit" Facebook's biased "COVID-19 Information Center for vaccine resources!")

To say the post went “viral” is putting it mildly. Not only was it shared wildly via Facebook, numerous news outlets and left-wing websites ran Dr. Cobia’s account as if it were the gospel truth. This includes The Washington Post, CNN,  NBC News, MSNBC, HuffPost, Newsweek, and the like. It’s almost as if they were just waiting on someone—anyone—to say that, “‘Young healthy people’ are now getting hospitalized and dying from the Wuhan Virus! Quickly, surrender your liberties!”

Of course, this is because as often as the left hypes the Wuhan Virus—along with the vaccine, masks, lockdowns, etc.—they keep getting put in their place by the data. It seems it has become particularly important to the COVID-worshipping left to scare as many as possible when it comes to the young and healthy. Yet the data here are especially troubling for the left’s Wuhan Virus narrative.

For the mask cultists, simply not enough young, healthy Americans are dying from the Wuhan Virus, or even requiring hospitalization. (A recent Johns Hopkins study found zero Wuhan Virus deaths among healthy kids.) Enter Dr. Cobia and her story. However—and again—when one actually looks at the data, her account shouldn’t strike the fear that she, and those like-minded, hopes it will.

The images from CDC charts below show the death totals “involving COVID-19” (note: this does not necessarily mean that a death recorded in this column is from COVID-19) for the state of Alabama:




As you can see, for ages 0-17, in April through July there are zero recorded deaths in Alabama “involving COVID-19.” This is actually the case for February through July of this year. In the 0-17 row for January, there is a blank cell. Again, as one can see, this is common in the chart. According to a note below the chart, “Empty data cells represent counts between 1-9 that have been suppressed in accordance with NCHS confidentiality standards.” So the empty cells represent death totals in the single digits.

What’s more, and again using CDC data, as of July 21, the “7-day Moving” average number of Wuhan Virus deaths (for all ages) in Alabama was 3. On July 18, the day of Dr. Cobia’s post, it was zero. At the end of June it was 3. At the end of May it was 4. At the end of April it was 7. For the U.S. as a whole, as of July 21, the “7-day Moving” average number of Wuhan Virus deaths (for all ages) was 223. At the end of June it was 225. At the end of May it was 413. At the end of April it was 612.

The numbers are similar when one looks at hospitalization rates. Again using CDC data, in Alabama, for ages 0-17, as of July 20, the hospitalization rate was 0.16 per 100,000. At the end of June the rate was 0.09 per 100,000. At the end of May it was 0.11 per 100,000. At the end of April it was 0.16 per 100,000. Likewise, in Alabama, for the age group 18-29, the July down to April numbers (per 100,000) are 0.67, 0.18, 0.31, and 0.33. Even though the latter group has seen an uptick in hospitalization rate in recent month, the July number (0.67) is exactly what it was at the end of March. For the U.S. as a whole, for ages 0-17, the corresponding rates (per 100,000) of hospitalization are 0.14, 0.09, 0.12, and 0.18. For ages 18-29 they are 0.53, 0.30, 0.40, and 0.63.

Thus, the data are again clear: whether or not “cases” are on the rise, whether or not vaccination rates have flattened, the numbers that matter most—hospitalizations and deaths—show no disturbing trend, in Alabama, or the U.S. as a whole. The lockdown, mask-up apologists need to take heed: we will not stand for your (mostly) useless, life-defeating, economic destroying measures again!

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2021, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Look What Surrendering on the Truth in the Sexual Realm Has Wrought

Within the last few months, multiple U.S. polling groups have reported that, for the first time, a majority of republicans now support same sex “marriage.” As Reason magazine reported in late March,

For the first time, a majority of Republicans support marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, according to a new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). The PRRI poll—conducted throughout 2020—finds U.S. support for same-sex marriage now stands at 67 percent, up from 61 percent in 2017 and 36 percent in 2007. Much of the recent rise can be attributed to growing support by conservatives and independents.

In 2020, 51 percent of the Republicans polled by PRRI said they support granting legal marriage rights to same-sex couples. This is up from 47 percent in 2019 and 31 percent in 2011.

A Gallup poll from about a month ago reports similar conclusions. Gallup’s June 8 headline reads, “Record-High 70% in U.S. Support Same-Sex Marriage.” Gallup also reports, “Republicans, who have consistently been the party group least in favor of same-sex marriage, show majority support in 2021 for the first time (55%). The latest increase in support among all Americans is driven largely by changes in Republicans' views.”

Worse still, support for same-sex “marriage” has grown among those calling themselves Christians. Reporting on the same PRRI as Reason, Baptist News Global notes,

Most people of faith also support same-sex marriage, the research shows, including 81% of religiously unaffiliated Americans, 76% of non-Christian religious Americans, 75% of white Catholics and 72% of white mainline Protestants.

“Majorities of Black Protestants (57%), other Protestants of color (56%), and Hispanic Protestants (51%) support same-sex marriage, but support drops below half among white evangelical Protestants (43%).”

Baptist News Global also notes that the PRRI poll reveals that many Christians (or, likely, so-called “Christians”) are also unwilling to allow their fellow Christians to practice religious liberty while operating their businesses:

“White evangelical Protestants (46%) are the only religious group in which less than a majority opposes allowing small business to refuse service to gay and lesbian people on religious grounds,” PRRI found. “Majorities of white Catholics (60%) and white mainline Protestants (59%) oppose such refusals, as do 54% of Hispanic Protestants, 56% of Protestants who are multiracial or another race, and 70% of Black Protestants.”

Given these disturbing trends, few should be surprised that we are now debating who is a male and who is a female throughout much of the U.S. Sadly, many who seem quite disturbed by the “T” (“transgender”) aspect of the LGBT agenda have had little issue with the “L,” the “G, “ or the “B” portions of the perverse LGBT agenda. This is nothing but yet another tragic example of moral relativism.

As most who pay attention to these things well know, and as the above surveys again reveal, moral relativism is rampant in the U.S., and has been for decades now. This is especially true of matters in the sexual realm. Decades ago, as Americans debated the acceptance of homosexuality, many Christians warned of the “slippery slope” that lay ahead if acceptance of such immorality became widespread.

Sure enough, “tolerance” of homosexuality quickly turned into a legal redefinition of the oldest institution in the history of humanity. In other words, in spite of millennia of precedence, a narrow 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court (note Justice Roberts: liberals aren’t afraid of narrow decisions that radically reshape our culture!) turned marriage law in the U.S. on its head.

Even before the infamous marriage decision, Christians across the country—e.g. Jack Phillips, who is still the target of the evil LGBT thugs!—were being targeted by agents of the evil LGBT agenda. SCOTUS’s marriage decision only emboldened the militant LGBT mob. Such attacks continue to rage across the U.S., and now “transgender” absurdities abound throughout America. This has even some liberals—or at least those who regularly vote for democrats—upset.

It has been widely reported recently that multiple women who recently visited a Los Angeles spa were shocked to find a fully naked man (who was claiming to be a woman) in the females only section of the spa. What has not been widely reported is that this has happened multiple times over the past 18 months. According to the Daily Mail, a woman they refer to as “Anita” (not her real name) had a similar experience (that involved her six year-old daughter!) at the same spa in early 2020.

The Daily Mail also reports,

Anita, a registered Democrat, said she’s an LGBTQ supporter but still wants to protect her six-year-old daughter’s innocence.

Anita, a millennial daughter of Latin immigrants, says she is a Democrat voter and a supporter of the queer community, but felt compelled to speak out about the thorny issue in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com.

Like far too many Americans, it seems that Anita likes playing along with the left; she just doesn’t like it when those decisions negatively impact her or her daughter. As a comment at the Christian Post on this matter rightly put it, “Unfortunately they also affect other people’s daughters too. She needs to realize that you either stand against evil or you stand with it, there is no middle ground.”

It’s understandable that an otherwise devoted liberal (which Anita seems to be) could be foolish enough to think that there is some happy middle ground—between the sexual moral absolutes given to us by our Creator and absolute sexual depravity—that Americans can settle into. However, no sound-thinking conservative—certainly no Christian conservative—should be duped into such thinking.

At Substack recently, conservative writer Abigail Shrier—author of IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughtersrightly bemoans what she describes as “Aw Shucks Conservatism.” An example that she gives is the Senate GOP’s response to the Biden administration’s Department of Health and Human Services replacing the word “mother” with “birthing person” in budgetary documents.

Ms. Shrier writes,

The HHS deletes the word “mother” and the Republican response is to muse aloud about this—as if the HHS has done nothing more than referred to “cookies” as “biscuits.” It’s a clip worth watching because it exemplifies decades of Republican failure in culture wars that have seen Leftists wipe the floor with them.

The deletion of “mother” is just one more reflection of the government’s adoption of Gender Ideology, which insists sex is irrelevant (and sex-based rights, dispensable): you are what you say you are. 

Yet, later in her otherwise strong piece, Ms. Shrier concludes,

Think what you want about abortion or same-sex marriage, but neither has anything to do with the crisis at hand—or how to repair it. Abortion is an important moral and political question—but not every other serious issue we face bears upon it or derives from it. And neither same-sex marriage nor Caitlyn Jenner poses any threat to children.

If Ms. Shrier, doesn’t believe that same-sex “marriage” and the use of “birthing person” in place of “mother” has anything to do with one another, then she, too, has been duped by “Aw Shucks Conservatism.” Likewise when it comes to same-sex “marriage” not harming children. In other words, there are some things in this world that have been settled for all time, and it’s past time for more Americans to start acting like it.

(See a version of this column at American Thinker.)

Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the 
The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Democrats: Killing With Misinformation Since 1840

In 1840, item seven of the Democrat Party Platform read,

Resolved, That congress has no power, under the constitution, to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several states, and that such states are the sole and proper judges of everything appertaining to their own affairs, not prohibited by the constitution; that all efforts by abolitionists or others, made to induce congress to interfere with questions of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences, and that all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people, and endanger the stability and permanency of the union, and ought not to be countenanced by any friend to our political institutions.

For six consecutive party platforms—from 1840 through 1860—democrats used their party platform to promote the institution of slavery. In addition to keeping the horrific institution legal in the U.S., as a result of this deceit, hundreds of thousands of Americans would die. 

Likewise, save for one year—1984—where abortion was not mentioned in the party platform, since 1976 the modern Democrat Party has unapologetically stood for the “right” to kill children in the womb. In attempt to justify this slaughter, and to keep as many Americans as possible—especially younger Americans—in the dark about the abortion industry, democrats have used decades of disinformation to dehumanize the unborn. This has resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of the most innocent and helpless among us.

For the sixth straight year, STD rates in the U.S. hit a record high number. In April of this year, Info Wars reported,

According to the latest data, 2.5 million Americans had either chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis infections in 2019, with chlamydia cases rising 61 per cent and gonorrhea cases spiking 42 per cent among young people aged 15 to 24.

The research shows that gay and bisexual men account for nearly half of the primary and secondary syphilis infections while syphilis infections among newborn babies also quadrupled between 2015 and 2019.

…In addition, a recent CDC study found that more than four out of 10 “women” who identify as transgender and live in big cities have contracted HIV.

Two thirds of black “women” who identify as transgender and over a third of Hispanic transgenders also have HIV.

The evil LGBT agenda, which has long been embraced and enacted by the modern Democrat Party, has also long proven quite deadly. Nevertheless, democrats have presented even the mutilation of children as something that is normal and healthy (and thus, of course, a “right” that must be protected by law). This is often done in spite of the protests of the parents of children who are suffering with sexual delusions.

With their Wuhan Virus driven lockdowns, rampant fear porn, and foolish and ignorant devotion to masks—along with policies that (again) directly put the most vulnerable among us in harm’s way—democrats did little to nothing to “slow the spread” of the virus. What’s more, their lockdown and mask policies have wrought untold damage and death throughout the U.S.

Joe Biden wants us to believe that Facebook is responsible for “killing people” by allowing Wuhan Virus and vaccine “misinformation” on its platform. This is, of course, yet another lie from today’s leader of the Democrat Party. However, when it comes to death and misinformation, Joe Biden should know of what he speaks. No one in American history is responsible for more deaths through misinformation than is the Democrat Party and their like-minded allies in the media.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com
 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Southeast's Largest Newspaper Commands You to Keep Being Terrified of COVID

As we are now well into July, plans for the 2021-2022 school year are ramping up. For many school systems, the first day of school is less than one month away. Given this, and in order to make sure that the government schools maintain as much control as possible over American children, the COVID-worshipping media are again ramping up the Wuhan Virus panic porn. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) is no exception.

With an opinion piece entitled, To mask or not to mask: Why’s that even a question in schools?, the AJC’s chief education writer, Maureen Downey, bemoans the fact that, “Almost all Georgia school districts will leave it to parents to decide whether their kids wear masks when they return to school next month.” In addition to its authoritarian tone, Ms. Downey’s lengthy column is rooted in three false premises: 1.) Unvaccinated children are in danger from the Wuhan Virus. 2.) There’s a “new COVID variant” that places children in new danger. 3.) Masks work.

There’s a mountain of data (much of it chronicled here and here) that reveal that masks and lockdowns are unnecessary (and often dangerous) when it comes to slowing or preventing the spread of the Wuhan Virus, and that children—vaccinated or not—are in very little to no danger from the Wuhan Virus. As far back as August of last year the data made clear that children were in virtually zero danger from the Wuhan Virus.

Numerous school districts across the U.S.—especially private schools, and especially those in GOP-led states—did not shut down, did not mandate masks or social distancing, and had no Wuhan Virus related problems. Ms. Downey also pushes the false notion that, because of the close contact that most sports require, high school athletes are in more danger from the Wuhan Virus. On this she writes, “However, the findings do suggest athletics, especially indoor, pose a higher infection risk than outdoor spaces or classrooms. ‘We need to have special policies in place to protect athletes,’ [Zimmerman] said.”

We most certainly do not need “special policies” to protect athletes from the Wuhan Virus. Data from the NFL make this clear. Earlier this year, the NFL and the CDC published a paper that showed in over 256 NFL games, and for well over 1,000 practices (probably closer to 2,000) involving 32 teams and over 2,000 players, there was zero evidence of “on-field transmission.” In addition, as we already well know, even if kids “get infected” (have a positive test result), they are very unlikely to get sick.

My 12-year-old son and my 14-year-old daughter both played basketball this past season. There were few to no masks at every game, in every gym (often the gyms were packed; I have photographic and video evidence), and we had no Wuhan Virus related issues throughout the season. Two of my sons and my daughter competed in a karate tournament in early February of this year. It was held in a local high school gym. There were hundreds (approximately 500) in attendance (again, I have photographic and video evidence). Again, there were no Wuhan Virus related issues. Of course, this has played out countless times across the U.S. (including Super Bowl parties) where the Wuhan Virus fear porn has been ignored.

To further the false narrative that children are in significant danger from the Wuhan Virus, Ms. Downey cites CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky. Downey declares, “At a recent symposium, she [Walensky] said COVID-19 has resulted in 471 U.S. pediatric deaths, more than the flu in recent years.” This is the second time in recent weeks that the AJC has reported this number.

As of about two weeks ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association reported 336 child deaths from COVID-19. What’s more, these numbers are for nearly 1.5 years. That’s a far longer period than death totals given for a typical flu season. According to the CDC, the 2018-2019 flu season saw approximately 480 deaths due to influenza in children.

The AJC also wants the public frightened over the much hyped “Delta variant” of the Wuhan Virus. Ms. Downey’s piece is subtitled, “With a new COVID variant and no vaccine for young kids, study affirms masks matter.” On the date of this writing (7/8/21) the lead story on the front page of the AJC website begins, “As a highly contagious delta variant spreads in Georgia, the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations is ticking upward, particularly in pockets with low vaccination rates, state data shows.”

Yet CDC data continues to show case rates across the U.S. in every age bracket near zero:

Hospitalizations across the U.S. also remain significantly lower:

(Go here to see the hospitalization rates for various age groups across the U.S. and every U.S. state.)

Almost all that we hear from the fear-porn peddlers in the left-wing media of the Delta variant is that it is “highly contagious” or “easily transmissible.” Tony Fauci himself said, “The Delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19.” First of all, we likely will never completely “eliminate” the Wuhan Virus. Secondly, we are told that the “vaccines” protect against the Delta variant, and more importantly, the Delta variant is significantly less lethal that the original virus. Again, this is especially the case with children.

In pushing her mask-up agenda, Ms. Downey references a “new study out of North Carolina.” Downey writes, “Reaffirmed by results in several other states, the North Carolina data showed masks were a key factor in limiting the spread of the coronavirus in school buildings.” Downey quotes extensively from “the study.”

First of all, it isn’t “a study” but rather a “report” on an “analysis” of data. The report does declare, “Wearing masks is an effective strategy to prevent in-school COVID-19 transmission.” However, the information in the report makes no indication that “COVID-19 transmission” in schools with mask mandates was compared to those without mask mandates. There has been plenty of analysis of data comparing areas with mask mandates vs. those without. As I have noted often, the data do not support the position of the mask apologists.

In early May, Scott Morefield at Townhall reported on data from Brown University Professor Emily Oster. Morefield writes,

In areas of high community transmission, masked school students saw a case rate (defined here as daily cases per 100,000) 37 percent higher than non-masked school students, or 19 cases per 100,000 in ‘no masks required’ schools vs 26 in ‘masks required’ schools. Even worse, staff experienced a case rate 84 percent worse in masked schools, at 19 cases per 100,000 in ‘no masks required’ schools vs 35 in ‘masks required’ schools. 

Also, even if children in schools are forced to mask up, it is almost always a clownish activity. Given that children almost universally hate the masks, they constantly have their hands on them, and if they have them on, they almost never wear them properly. Noted epidemiologist Carl Heneghan points this out as he made the case in April of this year against mandating masks in schools.

The AJC is the largest newspaper in the southeastern U.S. Though, with the tremendous decline of U.S. newspapers, that doesn’t mean what it used to. Nevertheless, like most others in the left-wing media, for over a year now the AJC has pushed the lockdown narrative when it comes to schools and such. To do this, numerous times they have pushed false narratives and fake information. Again, shame on you, AJC!

(See this column at American Thinker and The Blue State Conservative.) 

Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Revival Lit the Fire for the American Revolution

As I note in The Miracle and Magnificence of America, between the colonial and Revolutionary periods of American history came what historians have dubbed the (first) “Great Awakening.” The lack of passionate Christianity, along with the coinciding adoption of certain liberal interpretations of Scripture and a turn toward the secular, greatly concerned ministers such as Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Prince, and William Cooper. By the 1730s, passionate and animated pleas for the souls of the lost became widespread.

The earliest principle figure of this period of spiritual revival was the brilliant and pious Puritan minister Jonathan Edwards. Edwards succeeded his grandfather as pastor of the church at Northampton. Later he accepted a role as pastor of a church in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Jonathan Edwards loved the pulpit, and according to BJU Press, he was more teacher and preacher than pastor. In late 1734 and early 1735, revival broke out in Northampton. By the summer of 1735, it ended, but the seeds for something more lasting were planted. Enter the mighty George Whitefield.

Whitefield is generally considered “The Father of the Great Awakening.” Born in England in 1714, Whitefield entered Pembroke College at Oxford at age 17. There he joined a group called the “Holy Club,” where he befriended John and Charles Wesley. John Wesley led the group, and as a result of their “methodical” ways, critics took to calling them “Methodists.” Of course, the name stuck.

In 1738 Whitefield left for North America. It was not long before most of Georgia had heard of this young preacher with the booming voice and wild pulpit antics. News of Whitefield and his preaching soon spread throughout the colonies. In 1739, after a brief return to England in hopes of securing land and funding for an orphanage in Georgia, Whitefield came back to America and would preach throughout the colonies. Jonathan Edwards invited Whitefield to preach in Northampton, Massachusetts. Whitefield’s message resonated with rich and poor, farmers and tradesmen, church-goers and sinners—virtually everyone within earshot of Whitefield, which, according to Ben Franklin, in open space, was 30,000 people!

Whitefield was not alone. Along with Edwards, men like Isaac Backus, David Brainerd, James Davenport, Samuel Davies, Theodore Frelinghuysen, Jonathan Mayhew, Shubal Stearns, the Tennent brothers (Gilbert, John, William), and others implored settlers and Natives alike to trust in Christ and Christ alone for salvation. Their message of repentance caught fire up and down the American East Coast. In the words of Brainerd, the ongoing revival was like an “irresistible force of a mighty torrent or swelling deluge.”

After the event at Pentecost as recorded in the Bible in Acts Chapter Two, and after the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century, many evangelicals of the eighteenth century considered the revival that was The Great Awakening as the third extraordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Such spiritual power can spawn change that is felt world-wide. This was certainly the case with The First Great Awakening, for it was in the pulpits of American churches that the seeds of Revolution were sown. The British certainly thought so, as they blamed what they derisively described as the “Black Robed Regiment” for the thirst in the Colonies for American Independence. Modern historians have noted, “There is not a right asserted in the Declaration of Independence which had not been discussed by the New England clergy before 1763.” The Great Awakening played no small role in helping to unite the American Colonies against the British.

For example, in 1750 the Rev. Jonathan Mayhew, a Harvard graduate, Congregationalist minister, and pastor of West Church in Boston, published A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers. Out of this was born a sermon entitled “The Morning Gun of the American Revolution.” In this, Mayhew uses Romans 13 to justify throwing off the tyrannical yoke of England.

In 1765, Mayhew gave a powerful sermon railing against the evils of King George III’s hated Stamp Act. Mayhew declared,

The king is as much bound by his oath not to infringe on the legal rights of the people, as the people are bound to yield subjection to him. From whence it follows that as soon as the prince sets himself above the law, he loses the king in the tyrant.

According to historian Alice Mary Baldwin, joining Mayhew in leading the opposition to the Stamp Act were the Reverends Andrew Eliot, Charles Chauncey, and Samuel Cooper. George Whitefield accompanied Ben Franklin—whom he had befriended—to Parliament to protest the Act. Franklin revealed to Parliament that Americans would never willingly submit to the Stamp Act. A month later, in March of 1766, celebrating the repeal of the Act, Whitefield recorded in his journal, “Stamp Act repealed, Gloria Deo.”

John Witherspoon, Presbyterian minister, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton)—in 1776, on a national day of prayer and fasting, preached a sermon entitled The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men. The sermon included the following:

There can be no true religion, till there be a discovery of your lost state by nature and practice, and an unfeigned acceptance of Christ Jesus, as he is offered in the gospel. Unhappy are they who either despise his mercy, or are ashamed of his cross. Believe it, ‘There is no salvation in any other.’ ‘There is no other name under heaven given amongst men by which we must be saved.’ …

If your cause is just, you may look with confidence to the Lord, and intreat him to plead it as his own. You are all my witnesses, that this is the first time of my introducing any political subject into the pulpit. At this season, however, it is not only lawful but necessary, and I willingly embrace the opportunity of declaring my opinion without any hesitation, that the cause in which America is now in arms, is the cause of justice, of liberty, and of human nature.

Preachers and teachers like Witherspoon had a profound impact in forming the United States of America. Among his students included James Madison, future U.S. President and “Father of the Constitution,” Aaron Burr, future U.S. Vice President, twelve future Continental Congress members, forty-nine U.S. representatives, twenty-eight senators, three Supreme Court justices, and a secretary of state. As America’s Schoolmaster, Noah Webster, would later note, “The learned clergy…had great influence in founding the first genuine republican governments ever formed and which, with all the faults and defects of the men and their laws, were the best republican governments on earth.”

According to historian David Barton,

When Paul Revere set off on his famous ride, it was to the home of the Rev. [Jonas] Clark in Lexington that he rode. Patriot leaders John Hancock and Samuel Adams were lodging (as they often did) with the Rev. Clark. After learning of the approaching British forces, Hancock and Adams turned to Pastor Clark and inquired of him whether the people were ready to fight. Clark unhesitatingly replied, “I have trained them for this very hour!”

As a result of this First Great Awakening, America was beginning to unite. Americans were beginning to rediscover the Covenant Way. One nation under God became the political as well as the spiritual legacy of The Great Awakening.

Contrast the faith-filled, Spirit-led American Revolution with the godless, lawless, mindless demands for “revolution!” in today’s America. Instead of revival, the mob that has burned, looted, assaulted, and killed its way through the U.S. are motivated by pure evil. They are more rotten fruit of the liberalism that’s so prevalent in much of America today. Thus, we again see that any “revolution” not born of the Spirit of God is doomed to disaster, destruction, death, and failure. In other words, the only way to real, lasting positive change in any family, community, or nation is the way of the cross.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2021, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com